JUDGES 13-16 - SAMSON - Called to defeat the Philistines

SAMSON – Called to defeat the Philistines

Judges 13-16

Tuesday Morning Bible Study

March 10, 2020

Pastor Carolyn Sissom


Samson was dedicated to God before birth.  He was favored with a spiritual upbringing and knew the things of God.  Yet, he became willful, refusing to listen to advice from his seniors.  We learn from Samson that following after Jesus Christ can be spurned. 


The gifts of God are for His Kingdom use and not for abuse.


Samson is a man who failed his God, disappointed his parents and fooled himself.  Yet he is in the Hebrew Faith Hall of Fame (Heb. 11:32).


There are three dimensions in our growth in God.  We see a three-fold deception working in the life of Samson (deception in three dimensions):


  1.  30-fold- The woman of Timnath
  2.  60-fold – The harlot at Gaza
  3. 100-fold – Delilah


Samson could rend a lion, but not is lusts.  He could break his bonds, but not his temper. 


Samson was chosen before he was born to be God’s instrument of deliverance to deliver Israel from the Philistines.


The story of Samson is a type of one who is called, chosen and anointed by the Lord to be a vessel of the power of the Holy Spirit and the purpose of God and produces unlikely results with unsuitable means. 


Judges chapter 13 begins with “again Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord…  The Lord delivered them into the hand of the Philistines for 40 years.”


The Hebrew word for Philistine is ‘Pelishtiy” meaning rolling, migratory; wallowing; transitory; emigrating; moving to and fro, wandering, deviating from a true course, rejected, infidels.”


They were Israel’s constant enemy until they were subdued by David.  In that context they typify demons with Goliath as their champion (a type of Satan).  They had established themselves in Gaza, Ashkelon, Ashdon, Ekron and Gath.   Israel apathetically accepted this dangerous situation. 


It was at this point that Samson emerged to wage a one-man war against them.  His actions and exploits read like the story of uncontrollable passion of an out-of-control delinquent.


The Father of Samson was Manoah of the tribe of Dan (judge).


Like Sarah, Hannah and Elizabeth, Manoah’s wife was barren.


The Angel of the Lord appeared to Manoah’s wife to instruct her that she would bear a son.


  1. She was not to drink wine nor strong drink.
  2. She was not to eat any unclean thing.
  3. No razor shall come on his head.
  4. He shall be a Nazarite to God from the womb.
  5. He shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.


Samson was a Nazarite.  The Nazarite calling and vow is described in Numbers 6: 1-27.  This is a call of separation unto the Lord.  It means to “separate” and be consecrated (as a prince, a Nazarite); an un-pruned vine; to hold aloof; abstain from food, drink and impurity; to set apart for sacred purposes.


We can compare, Samson, Samuel, John the Baptist, and Jesus (who was a Nazarene, whose principle of the Nazarite is evident in his life and ministry).


13:6:   The woman describes the visitation of the Angel as “very terrible” (awe inspiring).


This is an actual visitation of the Angel of Jesus Christ.


Manoah prayed to God and requested a second visitation so he could hear the words and Jehovah obliged.


The Angel of the Lord appeared again and gave the woman time to run to get Manoah.


Manoah received the Words of the Angel and said, “Now let your words come to pass.  How shall we order the child and how shall we do to him?


The Angel answered Manoah’s questions by repeating the instructions given during the first visit. 


The Angels’ reply was, “All that I said, let her beware”.


This was the charge to the parents to raise up the child in the way in which he should go. “Order” is the principle of preparation of parenthood for the calling of Samson.




13:15-24 describes Manoah’s visitation by the Angel of the Lord.


Judges 13: 15-23 Then Manoah said to the Angel of the LORD (Jehovah), “Please let us detain You, and we will prepare a young goat for You.”  The Angel of the LORD said to Manoah, “Though you detain Me, I will not eat your food. But if you offer a burnt offering, you must offer it to the LORD.” (For Manoah did not know He was the Angel of the LORD.)  Then Manoah said to the Angel of the LORD, “What is Your name, that when Your words come to pass, we may honor You?”  The Angel of the LORD said to him, “Why do you ask My name, seeing it is wonderful?”  So, Manoah took the young goat with the grain offering, and offered it upon the rock to the LORD. And He did a wondrous thing while Manoah and his wife looked on—it happened as the flame went up toward heaven from the altar—the Angel of the LORD ascended in the flame of the altar! When Manoah and his wife saw this, they fell on their faces to the ground.  When the Angel of the LORD appeared no more to Manoah and his wife, then Manoah knew that He was the Angel of the LORD.   Manoah said to his wife, “We shall surely die, because we have seen God!” But his wife said to him, “If the LORD had desired to kill us, He would not have accepted a burnt offering and a grain offering from our hands, nor would He have shown us all these things, nor would He have told us such things as these at this time.”  So, the woman bore a son and called his name Samson; and the child grew, and the LORD blessed him.



Manoah made the sacrifice, but the Angel of the Lord said he would not eat the bread, declaring the offering must be to the LORD.


The offering had to be unto the LORD, not to an angel.


Manoah asked the angel his name.


The angel replied “My name is a secret” (K.J.V.) – beyond understanding – wonderful.” His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, and the Prince of peace(Isa. 9:6).


The Offering:


  1. The Kid --- crucifixion
  2. Meal – Resurrection.
  3. Ascension – the flame.


All this typifies Jesus’ finished work.


The rock = Kingdom of God = Upon this rock I will build my Church.





The angel did wondrously.


Wondrously: “To separate; distinguish, great, difficult, wonderful, and marvelous; to cause a wonderful thing to happen.”


  The flame went up from the altar (the Rock) and the Angel of the LORD ascended in it.    


To fulfill a vow (Lev. 22:21; Num. 15: 3, 8).  Menoah and his wife gave an offering acceptable to the Lord upon a rock, a kid without spot or blemish and a meal offering.  The Lord received the offering by fire and ascended. 


Jesus has done marvelously to bring the revelation of the deliverance and healing of creation; and the Glory of His Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.


Then Manoah knew that God had visited them. 


The Spirit of the Lord began to move on Samson at times (to and fro) between Zorach and Eshtod. 


Samson means sunlight; to be brilliant; the sun; the east; a ray; notched battlement.


Samson’s first rebellion was that he went down to Timnath, 4 miles SW of Zorach.  He saw a Philistine maiden and requested his parents to get her for his wife.  In this arrangement, Samson broke the law.  Philistines were uncircumcised and had dominion, power or rule over Israel.


This grieved his parents, but pleased Samson “well(14:3b).  “it is right in my eyes”.  Yet the providence of Jehovah was seeking an occasion for war.  It seems for God’s purposes; Samson was set up.


Samson and his parents went down to Timnath.  He came to the vineyards of Timnath and a young lion roared against him. 


14:6:  The Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him, and he tore the lion as he would have torn a kid.  He had nothing in his hand.  He did not tell his father or his mother what he had done.


He went on to meet the woman of Timnath.  After a time, he returned to take her and noticed a swarm of bees and honey in the carcass of the lion.  He ate the honey and also gave honey to his parents.


This would be breaking the Nazarite vow:


Numbers 6:6: All the days that he separates himself to the Lord he shall come at no dead body.


Honey is enlightment and revelation but from a dead body it speaks of a word that deceives. (11 Cor. 11: 12-15).


14:8: “After a time” he returned to take her. “After a time” refers to the year (approximately) between the betrothal and the marriage.


The wedding feast of 7 days (Gen. 29:27) was prepared.  When the Philistines saw him (what sort of man he was), they led 30 (unsaved) companions to be with him.   Samson according with ancient customs of entertainment offered a riddle to be solved within 7 days for the prize of 30 sheets (costly linen wraps, or shirts) under garments; and 30 changes of garments (costly festive raiment).


Samson’s riddle:


Out of the eater came forth meat”

Out of the strong came forth sweetness


Life (“meat” and sweetness”) comes forth out of death.  Samson was not only slick, but he was prophetic.  Samson’s riddle is one which man has tried to solve through his existence.  We have 7-days (7000 years) to solve the riddle of life and immortality.  Mankind is about to unravel the riddle of life.  Thirty is a number that denotes a people who are mature and destined for the throne of God.    


Hebrews and all Orientals were found of riddles, and amused themselves, especially at meals or feasts.


The one who solves this riddle receives a change of garments (putting on life and immortality, as in Zech. 3-4.)


The Philistines encouraged Samson’s fiancé to entice Samson to tell the answer, upon threat of her and her family’s life.  She wept and “lay sore” upon him until he divulged the secret.  She told the riddle to the sons of her people.


The men of the city interpreted the riddle and Samson said to them, if you had not plowed with my heifer, you would not have found out my riddle.  


 To pay his debt, Samson was anointed by Jehovah to go down to Ashkelon and slay 30 men and took their spoil.,


14:19-20: The Spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he went down to Ashkelon, and slew thirty men.  He took their spoil, and gave change of garments to them which expounded the riddle.  His anger was kindled, and he went up to his father’s house. But Samson’s wife was given to his companion, whom he had used as his friend.


(We see the power of the Holy Spirit to produce unlikely results with unsuitable means.)  --- It is written! 


15: 1-5:  It came to pass within a while after, in the time of wheat harvest, that Samson visited his wife with a kid; and he said, I will go in to my wife into the chamber.  But her father would not allow him to go in.  Her father said.  I thought you utterly hated her.  Therefore.  I gave her to your companion.  Her younger sister is fairer than she.  Take her, I pray instead of your wife.  Samson said, “Now shall I be more blameless than the Philistines, though I do them a displeasure.  Samson went and caught three hundred foxes, and took firebrands, and turned tail to tail, and put a firebrand in the midst between two tails.  When he had set the brands on fire, he let them go into the standing corn of the Philistines, and burned up both the shocks and also the standing corn, with the vineyards and olive. 


A kid was the prescribed offering for a husband visiting his wife in this kind of marriage, where a bride remained with her parents.  It was a humiliation to Samson to offer her younger sister.  After Samson burned their crops, the Philistines retaliated by burning Samson’s wife and her father with fire.  Samson fought back by smiting many of the Philistines “hip and thigh” (heavy slaughter).  Samson went down to the top of the rock Etam (voracious birds, lair of ravenous beasts).  Samson went to live in demon-possessed realm of Babylon.  This was about 3 miles SE of Zorah.


The Philistines (at least 1000) spread themselves in Lehi.  Three thousand men of Judah went down to the cleft of the rock Etam to bind Samson for fear of their own lives.  They said to him, do you not know that the Philistines are rulers over us? They bound him with two new cords (Acts 12:6 – Satan without and the carnal mind within) and brought him from the rock.  He went to Lehi.  The Philistines shouted in apparent victory, but the Spirit of Jehovah came mightily upon Samson.  The ropes on his arms became as flax that had caught fire and his bonds melted off his hands.  He found a new jawbone of an ass and took it and slew 1000 Philistines.


15:16-17:  Samson said, With the jawbone of an ass, heaps upon heaps, with the jaw of an ass have I slain a thousand men. It came to pass when he had made an end of speaking, that he cast away the jawbone out of his hand, and called that place Ramathlehi.


The jawbone reveals the power of the spoken word to destroy the enemy.   


This reveals the exalting of the Word of God.  Samson was “sore athirst.”  He called upon Jehovah.  In mercy, Elohim opened a hollow place that was in the jaw.  God either supernaturally let water come out of the jawbone, or he supernaturally opened the rock in Lehi (Jaw).  Samson drank and his spirit came again and he revived.  He called the name of that place Enhakkore (“fount of the crying aloud, well of him that did call, the crier’s fountain, fount of the invocation, the fountain of emphatic prayer”). 


15:20:  Samson judged Israel in the days of the Philistines twenty years.


In chapter 16, Samson went to Gaza and went unto a harlot.  The Gazites heard of it and lay in wait for him until the morning.  He arose at midnight and unhinged both doors of the gate of the city, and the two posts, and carried them, latch and all, about 38 miles uphill to Hebron.


Samson trifled with the secret of his power and gravitated toward disaster.  He loved a woman in the valley of Sorek (reddish, fox-colored, purple, choice vine, noble vine”).  Her name was Delilah.  She was then approached by the Philistines who offered her 1100 pieces of silver to entice Samson and learn the secret of his great strength. 


Samson lied three times:


(1)  Jdg. 16:6 -7:  Delilah said to Samson, “Please tell me where your great strength lies, and with what you may be bound to afflict you.”  And Samson said to her, “If they bind me with seven fresh bowstrings, not yet dried, then I shall become weak, and be like any other man.”  Jdg. 16:9:  Men were lying in wait, staying with her in the room. And she said to him, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” But he broke the bowstrings as a strand of yarn breaks when it touches fire. So, the secret of his strength was not known.

(2)  Jdg. 16:10-12:  Delilah said to Samson, “Look, you have mocked me and told me lies. Now, please tell me what you may be bound with.”  So, he said to her, “If they bind me securely with new ropes that have never been used, then I shall become weak, and be like any other man.”  Therefore, Delilah took new ropes and bound him with them, and said to him, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” And men were lying in wait, staying in the room. But he broke them off his arms like a thread.

(3)  Jdg. 16:13-15:  Delilah said to Samson, “Until now you have mocked me and told me lies. Tell me what you may be bound with.” And he said to her, “If you weave the seven locks of my head into the web of the loom.”  So, she wove it tightly with the batten of the loom, and said to him, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” But he awoke from his sleep, and pulled out the batten and the web from the loom.  She said to him, “How can you say, ‘I love you,’ when your heart is not with me? You have mocked me these three times, and have not told me where your great strength lies.


Finally, Delilah wore him down.  She pressed and urged him daily.  She vexed his soul unto death (grieved him to make him die).  The word says that Samson loved Delilah.  A Godly woman will not manipulate, press, deceive, betray or behave treacherously with a man.


Jdg. 16:17 -19: … he told her all his heart, and said to her, “No razor has ever come upon my head, for I have been a Nazirite to God from my mother’s womb. If I am shaven, then my strength will leave me, and I shall become weak, and be like any other man.”  When Delilah saw that he had told her all his heart, she sent and called for the lords of the Philistines, saying, “Come up once more, for he has told me all his heart.” So, the lords of the Philistines came up to her and brought the money in their hand.  Then she lulled him to sleep on her knees, and called for a man and had him shave off the seven locks of his head. Then she began to torment him, and his strength left him.


She sold him for 1100 pieces of silver.  Then the harlot called for a man (barber).  She caused him to shave off the seven locks (principle of the seven spirits of God Rev. 4-5 and Isa. 11: 1-2) of his head; and she began to afflict him, and his strength went from him.  The LORD and His ANOINTING (strength) had departed.  Pay day had come.  In his pride and carnality, Samson declared, I will go out as I have time after time, and shake myself free.  For Samson did not know that the LORD had departed from him.  Samson began to reap what he had sown.  It is possible to lose the anointing without being aware of it (until needed).


The loss of the anointing brings spiritual blindness, bondage and servitude; but that lost power may be restored by restoring the secret of power.   Those who lay with the harlot are captured by demons, are bound, blind, and going in circles.


Jdg. 16:21 -22:  Then the Philistines took him and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza. They bound him with bronze fetters, and he became a grinder in the prison.  However, the hair of his head began to grow again after it had been shaven.


For twenty years, Samson has been a mighty judge of Israel.   A grinder in the prison would be humiliation; for it was the work of women and slaves. 


The five lords of the Philistines called a feast unto Dagon to celebrate the victory over Samson and Jehovah.  People of God we have this going on now.  The spirit of antichrist is seeking to celebrate a victory over the Church and Jesus. 


The Philistines named Samson the destroyer of their country.


Jdg. 16:24: - When the people saw him, they praised their god; for they said:

“Our god has delivered into our hands our enemy,
The destroyer of our land,
And the one who multiplied our dead.”


Samson was called forth “to make sport” – a public clown.  They set him between the pillars.  Probably the officials and dignitaries were in a covered portion, separated from the courtyard by a series of pillars set on bases supporting the roof, on which the crowd of 3000 men and women had gathered.


Jdg. 16:25 -26:  So, it happened, when their hearts were merry, that they said, “Call for Samson, that he may perform for us.” So, they called for Samson from the prison, and he performed for them. And they stationed him between the pillars. Then Samson said to the lad who held him by the hand, “Let me feel the pillars which support the temple, so that I can lean on them.”


Samson’s prayer in verse 28 is man-centered.  Nonetheless, God heard his prayer and strengthened him to push on the two supporting pillars.  Even though it is man-centered, Samson’s request fulfills God’s purposes to bring judgment on the Philistines and Samson’s destiny. 


Jdg.  16:28 - Then Samson called to the LORD, saying, “O Lord GOD, remember me, I pray! Strengthen me, I pray, just this once, O God, that I may with one blow take vengeance on the Philistines for my two eyes



There are some prophets who are declaring that the LORD will again release the Samson anointing back to the church and this time, those who are chosen will not have the weaknesses and failures of Samson.  There is a sleeping giant in the land that is beginning to take the authority of the Kingdom.   He is about to pull down the kingdom of darkness with all its lords.  There is one more anointing to be bestowed.  “Let me die with the Philistines” was the cry that brought the house down.  Samson slew more at his end than all during his life (over 1100). 


Then his brethren (countrymen) and all the house of his father came down, and took him, and brought him up and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the burying place of Manoah his father. 


Heb 11:32 -34:  And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.


Carolyn Sissom, Pastor

Eastgate Ministries Church


Scripture from K.J.V. and N.K.J.V. – I entered into the labors of Principles of Present Truth from Judges by Kelly Varner.   Comments and conclusions are my own and not meant to reflect the views of those who I entered into their labors.  Preached by Pastor Carolyn Sissom Sunday Evening Service, June 8, 2014.

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